Magic Kingdom trip report – June 2013 (construction updates, A Pirate’s Adventure, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train)
My family and I visited Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World late one afternoon last week. It was fun for us all.
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After arriving at the Transportation & Ticket Center, we took the Ferry Boat to Magic Kingdom. I could see the progress made with building the new Disney Vacation Club resort next to the Grand Floridian Hotel. There was also a lot of construction along the Seven Seas Lagoon in the Resort Bus area, reportedly an expansion of that bus area.
Walking into the park from the boat dock, we saw the Iron Man Monorail pass overhead. Entry turnstiles for the park are now divided between those with a paper ticket and the new RFID plastic card.
Along Main Street U.S.A., some of the store fronts are wrapped for construction. Starbucks, which is replacing the Main Street Bakery, was nearly complete and later had its grand opening on June 18th.
Walking into Adventureland, the building next to Aloha Isle is still wrapped and under construction. Tinker Bell’s Magical Nook, a meet and greet area with Tinker Bell and other Fairies, had a wait time of one hour.
The posted wait times for the standby line of attractions in Adventureland averaged around 30 minutes or less. I was able to see some of the entertaining Captain Jack Sparrow’s Pirate Tutorial in its new location on a stage across from the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction.
I also tried the new scavenger hunt, A Pirate’s Adventure. It was a fun interactive game that is designed to take participants around parts of Adventureland. I received a map and RFID card in order to interact with the various locations on my quest to find treasure. There are five different quests. My quest, The King’s Ransom, took about 10 minutes to complete. It was fun, especially when the cannons on top of the Pirates of the Caribbean ride fired during my quest. And the map makes a great souvenir.
Walking to Frontierland, I noticed the Golden Oak Outpost was open. I purchased dinner at Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Café and the BBQ sandwich had a good flavor.
The ever-popular Splash Mountain and Thunder Mountain Railroad wait times were around one hour for the standby lines.
Walking into Liberty Square, I noticed there is construction next to the Liberty Square Riverboat. The building housing Sleepy Hallow Refreshments is also being refurbished. The walkway to Fantasyland from Columbia Harbor House is now a small tunnel due to the construction walls and covered walkway. However, there is an additional walkway now open between the Haunted Mansion area and the Tangled Tower into Fantasyland.
In Fantasyland, the Rapunzel rest area with the Tower from the movie Tangled is open. It is smartly decorated with numerous props from the movie. I went later that evening and saw the lit paper lanterns — it was a really nice effect.
The old restrooms near Peter Pan are closed and under construction. There is a new FastPass+ entrance at It’s A Small World, and the standby entrance has moved to the middle of the attraction front.
Note: the FastPass kiosks for the Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh and Journey of the Little Mermaid are located in front of Mickey’s Philharmagic.
Behind Cinderella’s Castle and next to Sir Mickey’s is a new Princess Fairytale Hall under construction. Princess Fairytale Hall will be a meet and greet with select Disney Princesses and is scheduled to open later this year.
A hallmark of Walt Disney World, The Mad Tea Party, is open to guests after being refurbished with fresh paint, revamped queues and an area for a FastPass+ entrance. In front of the attraction, the topiaries of Alice, the Rabbit and the Mad Hatter make a great photo opportunity for guests.
In the New Fantasyland area, construction continues on the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. Disney recently announced that the last piece to the coaster’s track has been laid. The “sneak a peek” openings in the construction fences surrounding the attraction are a fun feature and enable all guests, no matter what their height, to see the progress of this highly anticipated attraction.
Enchanted Tales with Belle had a posted wait time of 50 minutes. Be Our Guest restaurant was open for dinner and therefore not open for public touring. The other attractions in Fantasyland had a wait time of less than 30 minutes.
The construction walls across from the entrance to Journey of the Little Mermaid have been moved back enabling strollers to park out of the walkway. You can see the progress and themed scenery tied to the Little Mermaid on this side of the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train construction.
Although it was not indicated on the park map, the walkway between Ariel’s Grotto and Storybook Circus is now open and allows a much better flow of park guests through the New Fantasyland section.
In the Storybook Circus area, Casey Jr. Splash ‘N’ Soak Station was very popular on this hot afternoon. Both Dumbo the Flying Elephant ride and The Barnstormer coaster had posted wait times of 25 minutes for the standby lines.
At this point, I decided to ride the Walt Disney World Railroad around the park. This train ride is enjoyable and relaxing for the entire family. After disembarking from the train back in Storybook Circus, I walked past the Tomorrowland Speedway and met my husband and son at the Club 626 Character Dance Party. This DJ-lead event entertains the crowds with popular music along with Stitch, Chip, Dale, Goofy and Pluto dancing with the guests.
The unique and thrilling Space Mountain had a posted wait time of 55 minutes. After a cool smoothie from Auntie Gravity’s Galactic Goodies and a relaxing ride on the People Mover, it was time for the Main Street Electrical Parade. My husband and son left the park and I found an open spot with a good view of the parade in front of the Main Street train station. The parade was very entertaining and classic Disney with many spectacular floats with glowing lights. I was glad I stayed to see this parade.
After the parade, I walked around the park to get some night photos of attractions and watched most of the Wishes Nighttime Spectacular fireworks from the New Fantasyland area. Disney certainly knows how to put on a fireworks show that entertains park guests.
Leaving the park was a unique experience for me. I left the park approximately one half hour after Wishes ended. Because of the crowd’s size, it took me about 45 minutes from the park’s turnstiles to reach the entrance to the Ferry Boat. It was very warm and muggy and it was a relief to board the Ferry Boat and feel the breeze off the Seven Seas Lagoon.
Even though leaving the park was not much fun, it did not diminish the wonderful day I spent at Magic Kingdom. As an ardent fan, Walt Disney World is exciting and magical each time I visit. I’m looking forward to the next time I can explore Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World.
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